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Mercury introduces Joystick Piloting for outboards for Single-Engine Pontoons

by Mercury Marine 21 Jan 10:55 PST
Mercury introduces Joystick Piloting for Outboards © Mercury Marine

Mercury Marine®, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), today introduced Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) for Single-Engine Pontoons. For boaters driving a pontoon powered by a single 175-600hp Mercury outboard with Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) controls, this new system provides the confidence of precise 360-degree control for low-speed docking and other close-quarters maneuvers. This innovative new product supports Mercury's initiative to find ways to cascade advanced technology introduced initially on more premium products to bring more intuitive boating experiences to all boaters.

"For several years, pontoon boats have represented one of the fastest-growing segments in the market, but until now, only multi-engine boats were able to enjoy joystick capabilities," said Tyler Mehrl, Mercury category manager for controls and rigging. "Mercury JPO for Single-Engine Pontoons opens up new opportunities for pontoon owners to glide effortlessly into a slip or ease up to a fuel dock without worry."

Available in March 2022 on new boat builds, JPO for Single-Engine Pontoons is compatible with hydraulic or electro-hydraulic steering and uses integrated bow and stern thrusters that are positioned under the deck, deploying and stowing as needed. Once deployed, the thrusters work in coordination with the boat's single outboard to provide unprecedented control. The driver simply moves the joystick in the desired direction — sideways, diagonally, forward, backward or rotating in place — and the system takes the boat where the driver wants it to go. Plus, the system enables combined commands, such as simultaneously rotating and moving sideways.

"We are rapidly seeing more builders enter the pontoon market as this segment is attracting first-time and seasoned boaters due to their versatility and advanced technology," said Nick Stickler, Mercury Marine vice president of global category management and strategic planning. "We are excited to work with our OEMs, offering a joystick option that will greatly enhance the pontoon experience."

This product will be available in two configurations. The Basic version is available on Mercury FourStroke, Pro XS® and SeaPro™ outboards with DTS controls. It pairs with a traditional hydraulic helm, making it accessible to an even wider array of boats.

The Premium version uses an electronic steering helm and can be rigged with 250-600hp Mercury Verado® outboards. The Premium system can also be paired with a VesselView multi-function display to provide access to advanced features such as Auto Heading and Route.

Harris Boats launches next chapter of luxury Pontoon boating offering Single-Engine Joystick Piloting for 360-Degree Control

Harris Boats, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), today announced a new chapter in its luxury pontoon boating lineup offering single-engine joystick piloting with Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) controls in partnership with Mercury Marine. Offered as an option on the Harris Crowne, Grand Mariner, and Solstice Pontoon model series, Mercury's Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) for Single-Engine Pontoons provides the same precise 360-degree control historically has only been available on multi-engine integrations. Through Mercury's newly launched JPO system, boaters can have more confidence in docking and maneuvering in close quarters with single engine joystick capabilities as a first-of-its-kind feature within the industry.

"The JPO for Single-Engine Pontoon system, the newest engine advancement from Mercury, was a natural fit for our brand as we strive to deliver premium and industry-leading customer experiences for our owners," said Chris Bernauer, President, Harris Boats. "The Harris brand has a legacy of performance, style, and unparalleled technology, and we're excited to offer this first-of-its-kind feature providing our community of boaters complete control at their fingertips to promote comfort and convenience on the water."

Through Mercury's JPO for Single-Engine Pontoons, Harris will offer electro-hydraulic steering on 250HP+ Verado engines and use integrated bow and stern thrusters that are positioned under the deck, deploying, and stowing as needed. Once deployed, the thrusters work in coordination with the boat's single outboard to provide unprecedented control.

Available for model year 2023, the new joystick piloting system offers:

  • Precise, 360-degree control: Simply and efficiently maneuver sideways, diagonally, forward, backward or rotate in place.
  • Combined commands: The system enables simultaneous actions, such as rotating and moving sideways.
  • Luxury design: The intuitive joystick delivers optimal comfort and smooth, quiet operation.
"Pontoons have represented one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry and we are thrilled to partner with some of the most well-respected OEM's in the industry, like Harris Boats, to offer joystick capabilities," said Tyler Mehrl, Mercury category manager for controls and rigging. "Our new JPO for Single-Engine Pontoons system provides an opportunity to enhance the on-water experience for pontoon owners by removing some of the barriers and stress that comes with maneuvering tight situations, which can now be done with ease and confidence."

Harris Boats will feature the joystick piloting system at the upcoming Minneapolis Boat Show January 20-23 and the Miami International Boat Show on February 16-20.

To learn more, visit www.harrisboats.com.

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